British Lawmaker Calls for New Vote on Russia's 2018 World Cup Bid

FIFA president Sepp Blatter (center) during his visit in Moscow.

As details emerge of the alleged bribery scandal unfolding around Qatar's successful bid for the 2022 World Cup, a British lawmaker has called for a rerun of the vote that awarded the 2018 tournament to Russia, British press reported Tuesday.

"There is no proof or solid evidence that Russia's bid was itself corrupt, but FIFA was so corrupt at the time, and with serious questions over Qatar's bid, it is hard to believe that the 2018 decision was clean," Gerry Sutcliffe, a British member of parliament who was serving as Sports Minister at the time of the 2018 World Cup selection process, told The Guardian.

Russia was selected to host the 2018 World Cup in December 2010, beating out a bid by England, as well as Belgium-Netherlands and Portugal-Spain joint bids

U.S. Republican Senators Mark Kirk of Illinois and Dan Coats of Indiana called on FIFA to strip Russia of its right to host the tournament over the annexation of Crimea in March.

Both the Russian and Qatari bids are currently under investigation by FIFA's ethics committee.

Over the weekend, The Sunday Times published a series of leaked documents revealing that about  $5 million had been paid out to FIFA officials for their support of Qatar's 2022 bid. Prior to the report's publication, the Qatari bid was already mired in controversy over accusations of human rights abuse among workers and the use of slave labor.

Russia is to present its bid at the upcoming World Cup in Brazil, Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said last Tuesday.

See also:

Capello Names Russia Squad for Football World Cup

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